The RETHINK team spoke with Nicolas Darveau-Garneau the Chief Growth and Strategy Officer at Coveo (former Chief Evangelist at Google) to discuss how Coveo is transforming the e-commerce space through helping retailers compete against companies like Amazon.
Coveo combines unified search, analytics and machine learning to deliver relevant information and recommendations across every business interaction, making websites, ecommerce, contact centers and intranets effortless and efficient.
To learn more about Coveo, visit: http://www.coveo.com
Hi, I’m Nicolas Darveau-Garneau and I’m the chief growth and strategy officer at Coveo.
There’s so many challenges in eCommerce and it drives typically for almost every retailer a non-profitable business, but you’ve got lower margins because people can price compare more easily, you’ve got high returns, you’ve got expensive shipping and high cost to serve the customer. So it’s really important to really rethink the entire consumer experience, not just to make sure that what consumers see is highly relevant, but also to make sure it maximizes profitability. So what Coveo can do is actually ingest data from retailers, the margin of every product, whether the product is available in inventory, what is the likelihood of the product being returned?
Return is over a $640 billion problem in retail in the US alone every year. So using all this data and showing to consumers the right product for them, but also the product that’s going to make the most amount of money for a retailer and is the least likely to get a return, the consumer expectations have really skyrocketed and the expectation of every consumer for every website experience is Amazon-like. So retailers are facing these juggernaut, this extraordinary company. They don’t have the resources to compete in machine learning and AI, and is where a company like Coveo comes in, where we can really democratize machine learning and retailers can right away within a few weeks start with a platform and give their customers more relevant results and give them results that are more likely to be profitable and less likely to be returned.
So retailers have to really, really… The bar isn’t to be as good as your next competitor in your vertical, it’s to be as good as Amazon. Retailers have to think omnichannel, right. So AI is not there just to improve the eCommerce experience, it’s really there to improve the entire omnichannel experience starting with the website and the app which are a window to all of the stores, right. If your website search is terrible, for example, that your recommendations are recommending non-profitable products, you’re going to have the same problem in store because people have pre-shopped online. And so it’s critical to think through the entire omnichannel experience using AI.
What I would advise retailers to do, by the way, is pick a use case and think about finding partners or leveraging AI on your own, but finding a specific pain point, whether it’s returns, whether it’s spoilers, whether it’s fraud, whether it’s poor conversion on a website or poor profitability and partnering with the right people. Coveo, for example, as we keep building the platform, we’re open to partnering with retailers and building more machine learning models to improve things that are not necessarily things that are in the platform today.
It’s a long term partnership, it’s not a vendor relationship. And one of the things we’re really excited about is that we’re willing to price our offering based on the lift and profitability that we deliver to a retailer. And that’s really exciting because you really become partners and then Coveo is trying to improve profits every single day. And if you’re a retailer or if you’re a software company that’s got some interesting tech that you like to partner on, you just contact me directly on LinkedIn or email me at [email protected]. I’d like to speak to anybody anytime.